To put it mildly, communication between W and myself had been woeful right up until his first operation. There had been a lot of bad feeling and resentment on both sides for years. So I wasn't immediately aware of the storm brewing.

First hints came via the cherub after weekends at his dad's.

"Dad's going to have to go into hospital for tests."Tests? "For his cough...I think" Well he did have trouble with his tonsils a while back.

"Dad's had this test that's made him radioactive!" Funny story..

"Dad's still off work" Well it's December. Bad time for flu"

And then I got a text from W "Going to hospital for op Will be in a fortnight. I'll tell kid. Not you"

And I still thought it was tonsilitis. I phoned a mutual friend, Linda, a nurse by trade, who gave me the first full update.

"Well Macy, it looks like lung cancer. They're going to operate to find out for sure. But you know I know Mr Wilson the surgeon and he really is one of the best.. and it's amazing what can be done these days". I still remember hearing that outside my work, 8:30am, December 9th. This came completely out of left field. I was stunned.

Linda filled me in on the tests to date, the prognosis, W's remarkably cheerful outlook. W told the cherub his upbeat version of his diagnosis, which may or may not have involved a full cure by Christmas.

Further tests meant that the operation was actually scheduled for 13th January. By this time W and I were actually being civil in the same room, as I needed to bring the cherub into hospital for visits. However any updates on W's actual condition were left to Linda.

"Well Macy, they didn't remove the lung in the end. But Mr W got a good sample away for biopsy. We still don't know for sure if it is cancer, but Mr Wilson thinks so"

"No it's not a good sign they didn't remove the lung as planned."

"Well they're still doing more tests. And W's been asking about this pain in his leg too. They still can't find anything, but there's no such thing as coincidence in medicine."

"Well the tests are taking a long time, we have another meeting with the consultant in February"

"Well Macy, it is cancer. It's a rare type of cancer, not lung cancer, it's an Angio Sarcoma. Very rare, that's why it's taken so long to diagnose. And that's how it's in his bones as well as his lungs"

W only phoned me after this diagnosis. It was a short phone call because we were both still in shock. The official report was that he had 4-14 months left to live. His official line was that I was only being told because of the cherub. I don't know if he realised that I was crying.